Sometimes research is groundbreaking. It teaches us more about the world than our society has ever known before. And sometimes research simply confirms what we already believe to be true. Both kinds of research are valuable, as they each serve important purposes. One advances our collective knowledge in new ways and one helps society become even more firmly grounded in a truth that has already been unearthed.
Drowsy Driving Becoming More Dangerous
Recently, a study conducted by the Perelman School of Medicine and published in Accident Analysis and Prevention confirmed a reality many safety experts have been concerned about for years. The study indicates that when motorists fail to achieve adequate durations and quality of sleep, they are more likely to experience driver fatigue and to cause drowsy driving accidents as a result.
Data gathered by federal regulators indicates that as many as one-third of all fatal motor vehicle crashes occurring in America today result from drowsy driving. This is a significant finding that is wholly preventable. According to the new study, drivers are far more likely to cause drowsy driving accidents if they sleep six hours or less a night on average. Even when these drivers feel rested, they continue to endanger other drivers. If all motorists ensured that they rested adequately, far fewer fatal crashes would claim the lives of Americans on an annual basis.
Fatigued Driving Can Be Hazardous
This new study reinforces what safety experts already know about the hazards of fatigued driving. Yet, it also advances discussion on this issue by concluding that short sleepers remain a danger to fellow motorists even when rested. Hopefully this study will inspire drivers everywhere to obtain adequate sleep both for their own benefit and for the benefit of other travelers they may encounter.